By Jennifer Reyes Gomez
When the opportunity to "do" PSEO [Post-Secondary Enrollment Options, dual credit] programs first came up I was in my junior year of high school. My high school counselor told me about the college classes, and how they would benefit me. I learned that taking the PSEO classes would not cost my family anything and I could start earning credits towards my degree. When my parents heard the news that I had signed up for PSEO classes, they told me how proud they were of me and how brave I am to take the risk. I am proud to be the first one in my family to attend college.
I have earned college credits in Medical Terminology (4 credits), Spanish (12 credits), and College Success Strategies (2 credits). I am currently working on earning my nursing and healthcare certification and a dual credit College English class (4 credits). The great part of this opportunity is I have saved $4680 in tuition and text books. This experience has pushed me to take on bigger challenges. I always wanted to go to college and now that I'm going, I am stronger and more determined to reach my goals and dreams.
Reaching my goals and dreams is very important because I am a teen mom. I have a 16 month old son. I know that without an education I will not be able to provide for my child and his needs. My son motivated me to apply to PSEO. He motivated me to take the risk and push myself up to take the challenge. These opportunities of taking college classes really changed my life, especially as a teen mom.
I strongly believe students should take the opportunity of being in a PSEO/CIS program. It is hard work, but it saves you money and time. I will never regret this opportunity or experience. If you have the opportunity, you should be brave and try CIS/PSEO classes.
Jennifer Reyes Gomez is a student at AGAPE (Adolescent Girls and Parenting Education) High School of Saint Paul, Minnesota Public Schools. Jennifer's story was relayed to Education News by Joe Nathan, director of the Center for School Change.